(Rebecca Wiggins, La Semilla Food Center for Las Cruces Sun-News; 10/23/2013) -- [...] La Semilla Food Center and the National Farm to School Network have partnered with Gadsden Middle School to plan a day-long celebration for 800 students that connects them to local farmers and food, celebrates traditional foods of the Chihuahuan Desert and transforms an empty school courtyard into an edible food forest. Students will participate in classroom lessons and activities related to local agriculture, and will also get their hands dirty beautifying an empty 1,200 square-foot courtyard with edible landscaping. Sierra Vista Growers, a nursery based in La Union, has worked with the school to get the site ready for planting, provided compost and donated multiple fruit trees and edible native plants that will transform the space into a desert education garden.
While the spotlight is focused on preparing and sharing meals and celebrating the rich diversity of local agriculture, Food Day also brings attention to food-system issues, including food access and hunger, farm-worker justice, diet-related diseases, environmental impacts and junk food marketing to kids. The Food Day event is part of the La Semilla Food Center Farm to School program's continued efforts at Gadsden Middle School during the past two years to teach students. Continue to Read Here.
Andi Murphy, Las Cruces Sun-News)--With a grant from the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program, people who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program may now purchase food at the Las Cruces Farmers & Crafts Market.
"It's really to get more people to the farmers market," said Rebecca Wiggins-Reinhard, Farm to School director with La Semilla...To get EBT accepted in Las Cruces, they had to work with WIC (Women, Infants and Children program), the New Mexico Department of Health, the City of Las Cruces, each of the farmers markets and New Mexico State University, she said.
"It's happening all over the nation," she said about EBT being accepted at farmers markets. "But there's been sort of an obstacle to get those machines. This grant was a chance for us to hire that outreach coordinator (who will be at the market to run the machines)." Continue reading here.
Congratulations to 2013 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award winner and La Semilla Board Member Ricardo Salvador, Ph.D.
"The James Beard Foundation has announced the five recipients of its annual Leadership Awards. The Leadership Awards honor pioneers in the food system that are making positive changes to the food world as a whole."
Read "5 People Changing the Food System" in the Huffington Post to learn more.
(Emily C. Kelley, New Mexico State University News Release -- Las Cruces, NM) -- About 30 area middle and high school students have spent the last two weeks learning about architecture and sustainable design concepts at the Dona Ana Community College Architecture Discovery Camp, and have even teamed up to design building concepts based on needs in the community...Middle school participants visited La Semilla Food Center’s farm, located near Anthony, N.M., to learn about potential future needs of the nonprofit, whose mission is to build a healthy, self-reliant, fair and sustainable food system in the Paso del Norte region of southern New Mexico and El Paso, Texas.
La Semilla Farm Manager Jonathan Lessing met with the students during their field trip to the farm and explained the limitations of the land and the desired needs for future buildings. The students designed buildings to meet those needs. Continue reading here.
La Semilla Youth Farm is Hiring Youth Ages 14 to 22 for our 2013 Raices de Tradicion y Salud Program! Click here to find out more information and to apply. The application deadline is May 13.
Learn more about the extraordinary things happening in schools around the Paso del Norte region in our monthly School Garden Beet newsletters!
You can follow all 7 school gardens with weekly updates at La Semilla's School Gardens Blog.
La Semilla Food Center is seeking an experienced organic Farm Manager to oversee daily production operations of La Semilla Youth Farm. The Farm Manager will be responsible for ensuring diversified vegetable and fruit production of 3-5 acres in year one, with increasing production in subsequent years.
The mission of La Semilla Youth Farm is to increase access to fresh and locally grown produce for families, increase access to sustainable agriculture training opportunities, demonstrate the viability of small and sustainable agriculture, and inspire a new generation of farmers, food activists, and engaged community members in the Paso del Norte region.
La Semilla Youth Farm is located in Anthony, NM on 12 acres of farmland. The Farm Manager will be responsible for ensuring diversified vegetable and fruit production of 3-5 acres in year one, with increasing production in subsequent years. In addition to managing production, the Farm Manager will collaborate with staff to provide educational workshops and identify marketing opportunities for distribution of farm products within the region. The Farm Manager will help create long term strategies and goals to develop La Semilla Youth Farm into an economically viable, sustainable education and demonstration farm. Ideal candidates will also have experience working with diverse populations and help to teach beginning farmers.
For more information, please see the full job description here. Applications accepted through Dec. 14, 2012.
La Semilla Food Center is an equal opportunity employer.